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Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety

man looks at screen and thinks about high functioning anxiety

It’s possible that you or someone you love is struggling with high-functioning anxiety. You might not even realize that what you’re experiencing is anxiety because it manifests differently than the stereotypical picture of someone who is anxious.

High-functioning anxiety is a form of anxiety that doesn’t necessarily look like anxiety. The people who suffer from it are often high achievers who are able to maintain the appearance of being put together, even when they’re falling apart on the inside. If you’re struggling with co-occurring substance use issues and an anxiety disorder, know that help is available through an anxiety treatment program.

What Is High-Functioning Anxiety?

The first step in understanding high-functioning anxiety is understanding what anxiety is. Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. It’s what you feel when you’re facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview or public speaking engagement. For most people, anxiety is a normal and manageable experience. But for some people, anxiety can become so severe that it interferes with their ability to live a normal life. When anxiety reaches this level, it’s considered an anxiety disorder.

There are many different types of anxiety, and high-functioning anxiety is just one of them. Some of the other types of anxiety include:

  • Social anxiety
  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • General anxiety disorder

A high-functioning anxiety disorder is characterized by high levels of anxiety that don’t necessarily impede your ability to function in day-to-day life. In fact, people with high-functioning anxiety often excel in their careers and other areas of their lives. But even though they’re high achievers, they still suffer from high levels of anxiety that can cause a lot of distress.

What Are the Symptoms of High-Functioning Anxiety?

The most common symptoms of high-functioning anxiety include:

1. Perfectionism

People with high-functioning anxiety tend to be perfectionists. They set impossibly high standards for themselves and are never satisfied with anything less than perfection. This can lead to a feeling of never being good enough, no matter how hard you try.

2. Procrastination

Even though people with high-functioning anxiety are usually high achievers, they often procrastinate because they’re afraid they won’t be able to meet their own high standards. This can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed all the time.

3. Overthinking

People with high-functioning anxiety tend to overthink everything. They’re constantly second-guessing themselves and worrying about what could go wrong. This can lead to decision paralysis and a feeling of being stuck in your own head.

4. Difficulty Relaxing

People with high-functioning anxiety find it difficult to relax, even when there’s nothing pressing that needs to be done. They might have trouble sleeping or find that their mind is always racing, even when they’re trying to relax. This can lead to fatigue and a feeling of being burned out all the time.

5. Avoidance

People with high-functioning anxiety often avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable or anxious. This can lead to social isolation and a feeling of being disconnected from others.

If you suspect that you or someone you know might be struggling with high-functioning anxiety, the best thing to do is seek professional help from a mental health professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.

Find Help and Hope at Roaring Brook Recovery

If you’re struggling with high-functioning anxiety, know that you’re not alone. Help is available through an anxiety treatment program.

At Roaring Brook Recovery, we understand the challenges of living with high-functioning anxiety as well as substance use issues. Here, you’ll find a safe and supportive environment where you can work on healing your mind, body, and spirit.

Contact us at 855.590.9944 today or reach out online to learn more about our approach to anxiety and addiction treatment.